The rumors circling the internet earlier today were that the Yankees had an interest in Yuniesky Betancourt of the Phillies, and it seemed like the injury consequences couldn't possibly sink lower than that. You should know better than to doubt the Yankees at this point, though, as the follow-up rumor was that they were in talks to acquire Vernon Wells from the Los Angeles Angels with the Angels picking up a majority of the ~$42 million dollars owed to Wells in the remainder of his ridiculous contract.
Big factor: How much of $42M owed Wells do Angels pay? Hearing money going back to Yankees is not nearly as significant as one might think.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 24, 2013
The fact that this team pinched pennies all offseason in the name of a 2014 budget, but would pay Vernon Wells anything to fill in for Curtis Granderson for just a month just doesn't make sense. A fraction of the money and a low level prospect is still too much for one of the contracts in baseball that should be immovable. The Angels got themselves into that mess by letting Alex Anthopoulos unload that contract on them in the first place, and now the Yankees are letting them off the hook. Wells' no-trade clause seems to be a non-factor, as he is apparently excited about the prospect of becoming a Yankee.
Yes, the Yankees were dealt a tough blow with all the injuries to key players this spring, but they very much created this mess with their reluctance to fortify their roster in case of an emergency. They left themselves extremely vulnerable with an old roster without real replacements in place, and they are now paying for that. It seemed like Ben Francisco and Brennan Boesch were the penalties for their lack of preparation, but apparently it goes a step further than even that.
Yankees official: "I just wonder where this money was in December." So do a lot of others.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 24, 2013
Yeah, me too. How much worse can it get? Wait, don't answer that.
Small Update from Andrew: A.J. Burnett trade acquisition Exicardo Cayones and High-A pitcher Kramer Sneed are headed to the Halos in the deal. As Jay Jaffe noted, other than the names, not much of a loss talent-wise. The Yankees will pay $11.5 million of Wells's deal this year and $2.5 million next year, which is not much of a hit on the $189 mil payroll plan, I guess.